Cranberries are a bit of a funny little fruit. They can be so tart that they make you pucker just to think about them, but when they cook down they … more
If you ask me, a quickbread should be perfectly browned on the outside (it should leave crumbs behind when you slice it, you see), then soft and lightly sweet on the inside. And if you’re mixing in fruit, for the love of all things baked, don’t let that fruit clump in one spot or another. Studded throughout. The fruit should be studded throughout.
It’s easy to make the fruit behave, too. Just follow the instructions below that call for halving the cranberries (otherwise? just too big) and then tossing them with a tablespoon of the dry ingredients and a tablespoon of sugar before folding them into the batter. It helps them stay put during baking.
You can leave the sprinkling of sugar off the top of the loaf, but I’m not entirely sure why you would do such a thing. I thought you loved your family. Oh, and this makes a very full. So full that the batter itself will pretty much fill the pan. That’s the way you want it. Then you can make serve nice generous slices so it doesn’t seem like your loaf didn’t rise enough or something. Nobody likes a skimpy piece of cranberry bread, you know?
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
3 eggs (180 g, out of shell) at room temperature
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup blend once, and Mock Better Batter another – both came out great)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces fresh cranberries, halved
2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup (56 g) sour cream, at room temperature (can substitute Greek-style plain yogurt)
Coarse sugar (like Sugar in the Raw), for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well a standard (9-inches x 5-inches or slightly smaller) loaf pan and set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the 1 cup of granulated sugar and the eggs, beating well after each addition.
In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Place the cranberry halves in a separate, small bowl, and add a tablespoon of the dry ingredients to the cranberries, along with the remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar, and toss to coat. Set the cranberries aside.
To the mixing bowl with the butter and sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and sour cream, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick but smooth. Add the cranberries and reserved sugar and dry ingredients, and mix gently into the batter until evenly distributed throughout.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. It will fill or nearly fill the pan. Sprinkle the top lightly with coarse sugar. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 1 hour). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly and serve.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Bread Memories Giveaway Contest! Just leave a comment saying something nice about Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread (like, I pre-ordered it, hopefully!) and then tell us all about your best, most memorable bread moment from your pre-glutenfree days, and be entered to win a TON of great stuff (including a signed copy of the book!).